Thoughts and neuroplasticity
Your thoughts and neuroplasticity are intricately related. In previous posts, I’ve stated that neurons that fire together wire together. Which is to say that when you are thinking the same old thoughts over and over you are firing and wiring the same neurons and they have become hardwired.
When you have a thought, there is a spark between neurons. If you don’t have the thought again, there is no connection of those neurons. If you have the thought repeatedly a connection is made – the neurons wire together.
How you use your mind changes your brain
How you use your mind changes your brain for better or for worse. When you repeatedly have the same thoughts, the neurons become like a superhighway in your brain.
If you are telling yourself the same old self-defeating story over and over again, those thoughts have hardwired. That story is now part of your personality. It is a part of your identity. It is just who you are. You have those thoughts and live out the story automatically.
Every time you think, feel or do something, you strengthen a pathway. Habits are well traveled pathways. Your brain finds these things easy to do.
These hardwired thoughts have become programmed, they have become a part of your identity and personality. Think for a moment about how you talk to yourself. Are you acknowledging yourself for all of your strengths and talents? Or, are you like most people focused on your faults and fear?
Ready for change?
It is estimated that 85% of the world’s population are affected by low self-esteem. Low self-esteem has been defined as a “thinking disorder in which an individual views himself as inadequate, unworthy, unlovable, and/or incompetent. Once formed, this negative view of self permeates every thought, producing faulty assumptions and ongoing self-defeating behavior.”
What would happen if you talked to other people the way that you talk to you? Do other people say the things to you that you say to yourself? I doubt it and I certainly hope not! So that leaves the question then, why do you have all of those negative thoughts about yourself?
Stop and listen to the words you are saying to yourself. Are they honest? Are they based on the evidence? Or, are they old stories that you’ve made up and then perpetuated as truths? Do your thoughts lift you up or are they holding you down? Are you going to continue building that superhighway of self-doubt or are you ready for change?
Create your future to be greater than your past
You can rewire your brain to overcome severe physical, mental and emotional challenges.
Your brain’s neurons change in response to thoughts, emotions, environmental stimuli, illness, and injury. You have about 86 billion neurons that can fire and wire in trillions of combinations.
Neuroscience has shown that thinking actually turns on genes that prompt neurons to form new connections. We know that imagination itself can produce brain changes. The mere act of thinking about an action produces the same brain changes as actually performing it.
New thoughts and skill carve out new pathways. Repetition and practice strengthen these pathways, forming new habits. Pathways that get used less, weaken. With repeated and direct attention towards a desired change, you have the ability to rewire your brain.
You can create changes in your brain rather quickly. Studies have shown that habits can be formed in as little as seven days of repeated activity. These studies all show that these changes can dissipate just as easily. In other words, if you don’t use it, you lose it.
Make the most of the Greatest Expression of You process
To make the most of these techniques, begin each day by reading your Greatest Expression of You and then use the steps throughout each day as I have recommended. By doing this, the areas of your brain’s structure that generate positive thoughts and emotion physically increase.
As you live your day, be aware of those old thoughts, emotions, behaviors and physical sensations that no longer served you. When you recognize the fear, hurt, anger or sadness, check in and ask yourself, “Am I being my best self?” If the answer is “no,” then bring to mind your Greatest Expression and memorize the joy. At that point, you can respond as your Best Self.
Your private thoughts, your self-talk really does matter. Isn’t it time to fill your mind with loving, healthy, positive and prosperous thoughts?
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